Each year HouseSitMatch hosts a Blog Competition and this year our entries are better than ever, here we share with you the Housesitting Blog Competition Finalist 5 Entry. Bragi Jonsson an Icelandic security guard and shepherd has travelled across the world by housesitting, protecting property and pets wherever he is housesitting. In his blog entry we read about how he started this form of travel and what he has learned on his way…
Housesitting Blog Competition FINALIST 5 – Bragi Jonsson
What I’ve learned from my Housesit adventure by Bragi Jonsson
Why I started and why I keep housesitting
My main reasons for going house sitting are to travel and to escape from the Icelandic winter. When I turned 60 a few years ago I decided it was time to go further and see if I could discover new places I would like.
For example, in the last couple of weeks, they have had a pretty bad weather at home in Reykjavik, it’s been very windy with snowy blizzards and incredibly cold. Even if you were born there it doesn’t get any easier.
Winters are more enjoyable when I’m housesitting in warmer places
The weather is much better in Oxfordshire England where I am housesitting right now. So I still think it was a good decision overall to start housesitting to escape the Icelandic Winter. I have been house sitting for three winters now and I am just loving it, usually in new places, but I do have some favourites where I return.
Find a housesitting platform where you get the help you need
In the beginning, I signed up with a few housesitting platforms but ended up getting all of my house sits through Housesitmatch.com and I am so happy with that and have stayed with them. I get the best of help and service from Lamia herself. She takes time if you need it.
Right now, I am sitting in the lovely village of Dorchester in Oxfordshire looking after my good friend Lexi… she’s a Doberman Pincher. I housesat here last year and was so happy when the owners asked me to come again.
So, my only reason for still being in UK is that I was asked to look after Lexi again and to keep their home secure. Back home I am a security guard when I’m not working on the farms during lambing season, so keeping property secure is something I know realty well.
You can make interesting friends when housesitting
From here I go on to Marbella in Spain in mid-December to go and housesit for the first ever homeowners I helped out. They have an old and very small dog called Rocky and 2 cats. My first sit with them was also through Housesitmatch.com and lasted 3 months. I think I was lucky because it was a wonderful location near the beach and all kinds of nice pubs and places to eat. That was a great winter.
Since then, they have stayed in touch and invited me over for lunch when I was in the neighbourhood. They are really very friendly and I’ve learned you really can make friends while housesitting.
Those people recommended me to some of their friends so I got two more sits in Marbella from that and was able to stay longer than I had hoped. it’s a nice place. So HouseSit Match has helped me to make some very good friends, both people and animals.
I find unusual places to visit while housesitting and Geocaching
When housesitting I also do Geocaching, that takes me to many places I would not go otherwise. Between Housesitting and Geocaching I get to learn a lot about a local area. I discover hidden locations by walking, and you can see a lot when you’re on foot. I have had cars at many of my sits so have been able to explore a broader circuit of the areas where I have been staying.
Housesitting really is a great way to travel. You learn a lot, you see more of the local areas and you meet great people!